Redundancy means that an employee is being dismissed because their employer no longer requires anyone to carry out that role, i.e. the job itself will no longer exist. In order to be classed as redundancy, the dismissal must be due to either the closure of the business, the closure of the workplace or the reduced requirement for employees.

In cases of compulsory redundancy, your employer has a duty to ensure that the selection procedure is fair; and they may consider the following in making their selection:

  • Skills and qualifications
  • Performance
  • Attendance record

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  • Any disciplinary action
  • Length of service, although this must not constitute indirect discrimination by favouring one group over another. For example, if the most recent recruits are all new graduates who make up the youngest section of the workforce, this could be age discrimination

Employers have a duty to consult with employees before redundancy notices are issued. Where possible, redundant employees should be offered alternative employment, and all employees have the right of appeal against their redundancy. Your employer must give employees notice of their redundancy, and for those employed for between two and 12 years, this is set at one week for each year of service.

In cases of voluntary redundancy, employees are invited to volunteer for redundancy. Employers still have a duty to be fair in this process and must make it clear that applying for redundancy will not guarantee selection.

If you have been employed for two years or more, you will be entitled to the Statutory Redundancy Payment (SRP), which is calculated by looking at the age of the employee and their length of service.

Early retirement can provide an alternative to voluntary redundancy. In cases of early retirement, employers offer incentives for staff to retire early. However, if early retirement is to be offered then it must be offered to all appropriate staff, and employers are not permitted to select particular individuals. Early retirement must always be voluntary, meaning that it is the decision of the employee and not their employer.

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